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Health and Safety - Only Use Tools and Equipment as Intended

A number of health and safety incidents take place due to equipment being used in a way that it was never designed or intended to be used in. Any safeguards or protection on tools will be there to protect the operator or those nearby when it is being used as it was intended, but by using it in a different way these safeguards are likely to be rendered ineffective, increasing the risk of injury.

Not only can safety features be rendered useless, but using equipment incorrectly can also introduce new dangers which would otherwise not be present if it was being used properly.

The most likely reason for using tools or equipment in this way is usually one of two things:-

Firstly, it can be because the right equipment is not available for the worker to use. Whether it is down to a lack of forward planning, an unexpected change in the work needing to be carried out, the correct equipment breaking, or management cutting costs by not spending money on the right tools, workers may be instructed to 'make do or improvise' with what they have got.

Alternatively, the right tools and equipment may be available but it may be located a short distance away and the worker is too lazy to go and fetch it. Similar to a person on a ladder over-reaching rather than getting down, moving the ladder and going back up again, laziness or trying to save time by using what is to hand rather than fetching the right tool has been a cause of many injuries to people, ranging from minor ones to major ones and even death in some instances.

So whilst it may be tempting to save time or money by using the wrong tools or equipment, the risks to health are not worth it.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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